Bitcoin and the Power Grid

BPowerGrid “Bitcoin is evil” articles exist in profusion, and these days I pretty much ignore them. But one of the recent types – raising awareness of Bitcoin’s environmental unsustainability – has engaged me. As it turns out, I have an unusual background to bring to this topic, and I think I should contribute. So, here we go: Another Apocalypse? Let’s be honest and admit that most of the “environmental movement” sells …

More Revolutionaries Are Coming

Revolutionaries The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers. – Princess Leia, Star Wars

Assange, Ulbricht, Manning, Snowden… we’ve seen a slow stream of revolutionaries over the past decade or so, a few of whom became well-known. More will be coming.

So, You Wanna Get Involved with Crypto… Here’s What You Need to Know

InvolvedCrypto After several quiet months, I’m hearing of more and more people who want to get involved with cryptocurrencies, and not just buying and selling. I’m hearing about people who want to start crypto-related businesses, even things like crypto-themed bars. These people need some orientation and most long-time crypto advocates are simply too overwhelmed to help much. So, if you’re thinking of getting involved with cryptocurrencies, I’d like to give you …

Free-market Parasites

Free-market The crypto economy can’t get here fast enough. In addition to writing, I manage businesses. And as I review the financial records of these businesses every year, I see corporate parasitism biting them worse and worse. But if pushed, the bosses of these outfits would claim free market justification. After all, they didn’t hold a gun to anyone’s head! But they do hold the proverbial gun. More precisely, they arrange …

ROSC 21: Roll It Up and Move Along

rosc21 Once you know a storm is coming, the only sensible actions are to either protect yourself or to get out of the way. And so it has become time to roll up the Jay’s Bar show and move along. If we simply vanish from view now, there won’t be much in the way of targets to destroy. None of us, however, are about to deny ourselves: what we are, what …

ROSC 20: A Storm Warning

rosc20 I walked into Jay’s expecting to find Johnny to be his usual gregarious self. And he was, so long as he was greeting people at the bar. Once we sat by ourselves in the restaurant, however, he changed. I had never seen Johnny scared before. I’d seen him angry, disgusted, and irritated, but not scared. We were barely through the usual “How’s your family?” stuff before he jumped into crypto. …

The Discovery of Terra Nova by the Cypherpunks

Cypherpunks Ten years ago the cypherpunks were almost entirely forgotten. But now – and quite shockingly to those of us who were involved – cypherpunks are cool again. More than that, the discoveries of the cypherpunks are starting to change the world in a serious way. That being so, I’d like to briefly recap what the cypherpunks discovered, because what these people found was a new world… a “terra nova.” Land …

The Crypto Cleansing

CryptoCleansing A few months ago, as I was having a conversation with another crypto advocate, these words escaped my lips: “I hate to say it, but maybe we need a price crash.” As I said them, I had a slightly sick feeling of “Be careful what you wish for.” Now, the price has crashed. But in spite of all the pain that has caused, it was probably necessary. Why? Because it …

ROSC 19: Back to the Shadows

ROSC19 I got a strange phone call the other day. The person on the other end played like it was a wrong number, asking for Angie something, but they were listening to my voice way too closely. What they were doing, I was pretty certain, was to see if it was really me using the phone billed to me. The next day, I stopped by Jay’s Bar*, partly because I was …

ROSC 18: Not Parasites

rosc18 There’s something about being young, especially if you can feel young and righteous at the same time. The combination is potent and intoxicating. It’s a shame more people haven’t experienced it. And somehow I’ve stumbled into three or four groups of such people. I’m under no illusion that they look to me as some kind of leader (I certainly hope they don’t), but they are interested in new ideas, and …

The Baby Boomers’ Cultural Prison

BabyBoomers A few years ago I was struck by this comment by a reviewer named Michael Azerrad: Walk around any urban center in the Western Hemisphere and you’ll eventually come upon someone dressed like a punk rocker. That look was codified as early as 1977, and yet 34 years later, kids still replicate it… But in 1977, did you see bohemian youth attired like bobby-soxers from the ’40s? Azerrad was right. …

ROSC 17: The Rise of the Elderly

rosc17 Under the mindset of the factory era, old people were expected to move quietly to the side after they stopped working. From there they were to quietly dote on grandchildren, then get sick and die. That, however, has changed. For one thing, people are living longer and retaining their health into advanced ages. Also, old people never really were fit to be pushed off the stage. Certainly old people tend …

The Essential Goodness of the Crypto Community

CryptoCommunity Quite a few people have been complaining about the cryptocurrency community lately. And to be fair, they have legitimate reasons: Many get-rich-quickers, corporate sellouts, and outright scammers have shown up recently. But it’s far too easy for us to focus on the malicious and the misguided. The bulk of the crypto community are decent people, even if they’re unsure of the best paths forward. (No surprise in that, with perfect …

Is Bitcoin “Bigger than General Electric”?

GeneralElectric I’ve seen a lot of headlines like these lately, and so I’ll take a moment to point out how wrong-minded they are. To compare Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) to a company is just wrong. As I keep saying, Bitcoin is not an investment. That is, It’s not a share of ownership in a corporation, like a stock. It’s not a promise of debt repayment, like a bond. Bitcoin is a …

ROSC 15: Building Ourselves a City

ROSC15 Theorizing is one thing; doing is quite another. No matter how good you think your theories are, applying them to the real world is always a revelation. More than that, actually doing is far more fun that theorizing. And right now hundreds of thousands of young people (and a lot of older ones too) are building the economy of the future. It’s a magnificent thing to be part of. The …

Advice To Bitcoiners Who Are Finding Themselves Rich

Bitcoiners A lot of Bitcoiners are waking up to find themselves rich these days, and I suspect that most of them have little experience handling significant amounts of money. And so, having been around the block a few times, I think I should pass along some lessons. Shut your mouth. Seriously. Tell your spouse, of course, and if there’s someone else you trust deeply, but after that shut up. If asked …

The Day Bitcoin Was Hacked

BitcoinHacked In the ninth year of Satoshi, at 9:30am UTC on a cold February morning, Bitcoin was hacked. The hacker (or hackers) found a way to take advantage of a command in Satoshi’s original code. Then, using some very impressive number-crunching power, they played man-in-the-middle and intercepted transactions as they approached the big Bitcoin miners.

The Problem with the Crypto Debate

CryptoDebate There have been some important public debates about cryptography recently, and, unfortunately, the loudest voices have understood the problem the least. So, I’m very pleased to post a paper on the subject by someone who understands the fundamental issue: my associate at Cryptohippie, Jonathan Logan. If you have any interest in this subject, please give this paper your time. And if you know others who are interested in the debate, …

Prostrate Yourselves! The Crypto Wars Are Back, and This Time Big Brother Aims to Win

cryptowars In 284 AD the Roman empire was in deep trouble. But then a soldier named Diocletian rode into town as the new emperor. This was the man who rearranged Rome and set it up to endure (even as it declined) for another 180 years. How he did this was simple: autocratic control, AKA tyranny. Diocletian gave up the illusion that the emperor was merely the leading citizen. He was the …